Country Tunes…Help!

I have a confession to make: I love happy country tunes.  I loathed them growing up, but somewhere along the line I fell for country and I fell hard.  The thing is, I know so little about it!  I have a playlist of 30 or so songs made by a friend (it has everything from Johnny Cash to Taylor Swift), but that’s it.  So I need your help—what country songs and/or artists do you recommend?  Where should I start?  I’d be forever grateful!

(image: paranoiagirl)

74 comments on “Country Tunes…Help!

  1. Deanna (Silly Goose Farm)

    I like the pioneers in, let’s call it, “Alt Country” – Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, The Band, Levon Helms. Johnny Cash is quintessential. Also love Lyle Lovett and Alison Krause. Happy hunting! On my blog I do a “weekend listening” section if you are ever looking for new tunes.

  2. Casey Jay

    Carrie Underwood’s “All American Girl” never ceases to make me grin from ear to ear. I’m also a huge fan of Zac Brown Band’s “Chicken Fried.”

    She doesn’t fit into the modern “country” category, but Neko Case’s Middle Cyclone album is definitely worth checking out if you want more of a folk/Americana vibe.

  3. Lydia

    I have to put my two cents in here. I love a good country song, my fav artists are Lady Antebellum, Little Big Town, Taylor Swift and Ryan Bingham

  4. Shara

    Looks like you already have tons of recommendations, but I just have to share:

    Billy Bragg & Wilco (Mermaid Avenue)
    Neko Case
    Emmylou Harris
    Dolly Parton

    I have this amazing “Gold Country” tape that used to be my mom’s that I listen to all the time, but I always forget the individual artists on it!

  5. Annie

    If you’re looking to venture into bluegrass, too, definitely look into Trampled by Turtles, Dead Man Winter, Old Crow Medicine Show, and 18 South! Amazing.

  6. Roe

    Happy country, happy country….off the top of my head

    *Garth Brooks: “I’ve got friends in low places”
    *Sugarland (in general)
    *Rascal Flats: “Mayberry”
    *Dierks Bently: “What was I thinking”

  7. Lauren

    My favorite country songs, and artists for that matter, are Jolene by Dolly Parton and Jackson by Johnny Cash and June Carter. I also have never been too disappointed with the likes of Tim McGraw and back in the 90s I was obsessed with the Dixie Chicks.

  8. Karen

    George strait, waylon jennnings, steve earle, sugarland, lady antebellum, tanya tucker, tim mcgraw, kenny chesney, lorrie morgan… go on, type in any of these and see what comes up!

  9. Elizabeth

    I’ve been into Willie Nelson this week… but I scanned your comments and did not see my number one favorite bluegrassish…countryesque band of all time…


    You must check out NICKEL CREEK. :)

    I’ll say it again… just in case my comment gets lost will all the others. :)


    Love your blog! :)

  10. jillian

    i grew up listening to country music but it took me a while to finally admit that i loved it. George Strait’s song clear blue sky finally broke me down.

    i would also recommend anything by tim mcgraw, dixie chicks (their entire ‘home’ album is a must listen), keith urban, john michael montgomery, alan jackson, dierks bently

    xoxo jcd

  11. Julie Ciapciak

    Oh, this post excites me so!
    My boyfriend plays the pedal steel guitar in a country music band! We were just in Los Angeles, his first time, and he was so happy to add to his collection of cowboy boots from the surplus of vintage stores!
    He loves the old stuff, Dolly, Hank, Loretta…I’ll have him compile a list and send it to you! Happy Monday, Katie!

  12. Kendra

    I grew up resenting country music since that was all my dad would listen to, but have recently found myself crossing over as well! Still not a mainstream country fan, but I do love a good alt-country tune. Check out the Avett Brothers! I also love the Old 97’s and singer Rhett Miller’s solo work, Ryan Adams, Delta Spirit, and Rickie Lee Jones.

  13. Scarlett Moberly

    absolutely love country–reminds me of summers spent at my family’s rural beach cottage hanging with the locals…some of my favorites are:
    If I Die Young – The Band Perry
    Easy Silence – Dixie Chicks
    Wild At Heart – Gloriana
    Johnny and June – Heidi Newfield
    The Truth – Jason Aldean
    Lover, Lover – Jerrod Neimann
    Wanted – Jesse James
    anything by Keith Urban but especially:
    – Kiss a Girl
    – Sweet Thing
    – Til Summer Comes Around
    – I’m In
    – Put You In A Song
    – Somebody Like You
    – Who Wouldn’t Want to Be Me
    – Jeans On
    – You Look Good In My Shirt
    – Raining on Sunday
    – I Told You So
    I’m Alive (feat. Dave Matthews) – Kenny Chesney
    American Honey – Lady Antebellum
    Gunpowder & Lead – Miranda Lambert
    White Liar – Miranda Lambert
    Arlington – Ridley Bent
    Sugarland’s cover of Come On Get Higher is amazing
    Tay Swift favorites are I’d Lie and Hey Stephen

    Long list! But they’re all great…enjoy!

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